Now that summer is behind us, it’s time to take advantage of the winter months to ensure you achieve your financial goals for the year ahead.
While many might cringe at the thought of shorter days and lack of sunlight, this period presents an opportunity to hibernate and save.
Instead of filling your calendar with social events to get through the season, why not use this time to get on top of your finances and even tick a few of your financial goals off the list?
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Find another source of income
Let’s face it, most of us could do with a little extra cash at the end of each month. But, after working long hours each week, most people shudder at the thought of doing even more. Well, what if you didn’t have to?
The arrival of the sharing economy has disrupted the way we earn by providing everyday people with opportunities to make money in new ways.
If you have a room sitting vacant, you can rent it out to travellers passing through town one or two weekends a month. Or you could find a long-term share arrangement and fill the room on a long-term basis.
But it isn’t just your property that could earn you extra money. If you’re like the other 500,000 Australians that have a registered RV but only use it for six months of the year there are sites that connect motorhome owners with holidaymakers. This could see you earning additional income without lifting a finger.
The long and short of it is, regardless of whether you have a spare room, time or even a vehicle, you could be earning extra money and getting that bit closer to achieving your financial goals.
Start saving for Christmas…seriously
So, now that you have a plan in place to earn some extra money it’s time to ensure that, instead of spending it, you put this money away for the things that count.
With the calendar months dropping away, we’re creeping closer to mid-year which means it’s time to put money aside for the festive season ahead.
If you relied on credit to get through Christmas last year, or if you simply want to get ahead this year, it’s time to put a savings plan in place.
Even if it’s just $20 a week, by the end of the year you could have a nice buffer in a savings account to help you get through this costly season.
The key is to not close the account after one Christmas. That way, once this year is done and dusted you can start saving again in 2018.
It might seem like a long time into the future, but this forward planning could prevent you from falling into a difficult financial situation down the track.
Cut back on non-essential expenses
If you’re subscribed to services like Netflix, Stan or Spotify and are dropping five dollars a day on soy lattes, you might want to re-evaluate your spending habits.
You’d be amazed at how much you can save by cutting back on non-essentials. In fact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has calculated that Australians spend more than $1 billion a year on coffee alone.
There’s no better time to start than now, so take the scissors to your extra spending and cut the fat. Even if it’s only $100 per month that could result an additional $1,200 in your account at the end of each year.
If you are struggling to save due to debt, you can also check out this article on how to better understand your spending and savings habits.
So you had a busy summer and now your credit balance is looking a little worse for wear. Plus you have a car loan to keep on top of and a few other debts as well.
Sometimes managing all of these debts can become pretty stressful, yet many people think the best thing to do is to keep on peddling in the hope they come out the other side.
Consolidating these debts into one loan not only means that just one repayment comes out of your account each month, but you could also benefit from lower repayments.
This could be a good option if you’ve got multiple repayments and are struggling to keep on top of them all. Liberty has a range of solutions that might be able to help.
To find out more about Liberty’s debt consolidation options click here.
As you can see there's no need to have the winter woes when it comes to your finances. Use this time wisely so that by the time summer rolls around you’re in a better financial position.